Greek food

Last Ride

Well I’m pretty sure last week’s ride to work was the last bike commute for the winter. It was dry and crisp, the perfect fall day, but FREEZING. It was around 40 degrees when I got up and out of the house and I think that’s being generous. Even though I have decent gear (and supposedly cold weather gloves) my fingers were so frozen they hurt. Same with my toes and my face. The rest of me warmed up nicely on the ride.

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The Springwater Trail was fairly empty that morning. I stopped mid-ride to blow my nose (cold weather makes it runny, same with my eyes) and my friend Debby rode past! So I caught up to her and we rode the rest of the way into work together. It was nice because we chatted a little and it distracted us both on how miserable we were!

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So yeah, that was the last ride!

I was so cold the rest of the day at work. Even though I was wearing a sweater, I just had a chill. I was so freezing that I skipped my apple for my morning snack and got a cup of broccoli cheddar soup to warm me up. I ate half of it and then had the rest with my lunch.

The afternoon was much more pleasant. It was warmer and the sun was out.

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About 10 miles total for the day. It was a pretty good way to end the cycling season. I’d done Body Pump the night before (took it easier this time so I wouldn’t be as crippled). By the afternoon ride home I was starting to stiffen up and get more sore. I think the bike ride helped loosen me up a tad.

So how are the kitties doing?

I figured it was time for an update on how the wild beasts in my home are getting along. As I predicted, Maya is staying in the bedroom and doesn’t come out. I knew it would take her a lot of time. Fat Kitty, on the other hand, has FINALLY decided to assert his authority. He’s the King of the house and he’s letting Bella know it!

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Last Tuesday night I got home from Body Pump and watched as Fat Kitty and Bella met. For two hours. It was quite entertaining. He alternated what side of the gate he was on as he hissed and growled at Bella. Bella was really good and didn’t chase him or antagonize him. She’d sit on one side of the gate, Fat Kitty on the other. Bella seemed more curious and scared than anything! She’d run back to the couch and look scared:

That short video needs audio. That is Fat Kitty growling at Bella. 🙂 He’s so fierce! Last Wednesday night I hung out in the bedroom with Fat Kitty watching some TV. He sat next to me on the bed and Bella came in and laid down on the floor at the foot of the bed. It was awesome! Fat Kitty didn’t growl for nearly 30 minutes! The three of us just hung out together. I was so impressed at the leaps and bounds the animals are making with each other.

But they aren’t ready to be alone together yet. So when Michael I got dressed to go out to dinner for date night, I put Bella in the crate for the hour or so we’d be gone. She wasn’t happy about it and I felt badly but…it’s too soon for her to just be out and about without us there.

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Michael was going out of town for a week so we went to Eleni’s in Sellwood for dinner as a date night before he left. Eleni’s has a special place in my heart because it’s where we had our first date.

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I ordered a glass of  Pinot Gris with dinner and we started with Michael’s favorite appetizer, the “Ktipiti” which is a spicy feta dip. It’s so good! We always order it.

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It came with warm pita bread, veggies and Greek olives. If I could have licked the plate of the feta dip residue I would have, it’s that delicious. For my entree I went with the steamed mussels that were in a tomato and garlic sauce with onions and feta. I’ve been craving clams or mussels for weeks! Finally got to have it.

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Michael ordered the lamb special of the night. It was a leg of lamb where the meat was so tender it fell off the bone and mashed sweet potatoes. It came with sauteed kale but they’d used a really heavy hand with the lemon and it was basically inedible. Which was weird because we’ve always had a good meal at the Sellwood Eleni’s.

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On the way home we stopped at Dairy Queen for a blizzard. It’s been a good 8 years since I’ve been! I used to be obsessed with Blizzards and would eat the big ones at least once or twice a week. This time Michael and I ordered the mini–which surprisingly still had a lot of calories in it! The mini was about 350 calories. Eeeek. Oh well. It was worth it. It will probably be another 8 years before I go back. 😉

We got home and let Bella out of the crate for the rest of the evening and Fat Kitty was extra grumpy. Hissing, spitting, growling. It feels like we take one step forward, two steps back with the cat and dog!

QUESTION: If you have a dog and cat, how long did it take for them to get along? 

Brews and Queens

After biking 30 miles in the sunshine we decided the next best thing was to drink beer in the sunshine! Michael and I headed downtown to meet up with our friends at the Oregon Brewfest on the waterfront. We parked across the river and walked the 1.25 miles or so across the Hawthorne Bridge and somehow managed to find out posse in the throng of people.

Usually we go to the Brewfest on Friday (it’s always the last full weekend in July) but this year we weren’t going to be able to do that so we bumped it to Thursday. We thought that would be a good idea–beat the crowds! Unfortunately I think everyone else in Portland had the same idea because when we got there it was PACKED. Like Friday evening packed. I was shocked.

Michael was ready to eat someone’s arm so the first thing on the agenda was food. I was happy to oblige because I knew I was teetering on the edge of “Crazy Hunger Freak” too after our 30 mile bike ride. I surveyed the options and got a lamb gyro that was dripping in sauce. It totally hit the spot.

Michael grabbed a hot dog from the Gustav’s tent and I think we ate our lunches in seconds flat. Next up: tasting.

$20 gets you one mug and 14 tokens for beer tasting.

It was so good to hang out with friends! Michael’s old roommate Shoe joined us and it’s always good to hang out with him.

My friend Greg met up with us after he got off work.

Michael’s friend Jeremy was there with us and he brought his friends who were visiting from England and Ireland. His friend Max also brought Voodoo Donuts! He’s definitely a keeper. 🙂 (Michael and I split a donut.)

I ran into some old coworkers and friends, plus my friend Robyn was there! It was clearly the place to be on a Thursday afternoon! I like it.

So how was the beet this year? This is I think the third year I’ve been going to this event and I think last year was by far the best–we had a great time, lots of friends joined us and the beer was exceptional. This year’s selections of beers didn’t really stand out for me. I can’t name one beer that I MUST TRY AGAIN.


There were a lot of beers that I enjoyed. (Boulder Beer Co Hoola Pale Ale; Eel River Brewing Co Organic IPA; Laurelwood Brewing Co Organic Pale Ale; Mad River Brewing Jamaica Sunrise ESB)

And quite a few that I did not like at all. (Pelican Pub & Brewery Ankle Buster Belgian Ale; Surly Brewing Hell; Anderson Valley Brewing Summer Cream Ale; Bison Brewing Co Honey Basil Ale)

YUCK!

But nothing really caught my fancy. I did branch out and try some things I wouldn’t normally try. For example, ESB (Extra Strong Bitters) are not really my thing. But I tried the Mad River Brewing Jamaica Sunrise ESB  and was surprised at how lovely it was.

After the Brewfest we walked back across the Hawthorne Bridge to get happy hour dinner at Clarklewis. BOY was there a change since the last time we were there. It was only a few months ago and we had such good service and outstanding food. Thursday night? Not so much. The service was lame, the waitress screwed up several of our orders–including not bringing out a friend’s order at ALL and then forgetting to remove the charge from the bill. The food was lackluster at best.

The mac n’ cheese was just okay. The burger was so overcooked I almost didn’t want to finish it, but we didn’t have time to send it back for another. I am so so disappointed. Did they change chefs? What happened to the delicious restaurant we went to in March?!

After dinner we headed to the Roseland on Burnside to see Queens of the Stone Age. Because dinner took longer than expected we missed the opening band, which several of us wanted to see.


The show was really good. The crowd was energetic, the music sounded great. The Queens of the Stone Age are definitely a fun band to see live. And the nice thing about concerts at the Roseland Theatre is that they are very intimate. You can get pretty close to the bands. I’ve seen a bunch of shows there and they are always fun.


Even though the band was great live, the day was fun and the company was nice, I was utterly exhausted by the time we got to the show. 30 miles on the bike, lots and lots of walking and drinking beer in the sunshine = a sleepy Lisa.


So the fact that the show was early and ended by 9:30 was no problem for me! All I wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite summer beer right now? Are there any annual traditions in your neck of the woods?